Tag: Frank Sawyers

A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

A Love of the (Hot-Water) Bottle: Wartime Anecdotes

Living Hot-Water Bottle

Q. “Rab” But­ler, Churchill’s Min­is­ter of Edu­ca­tion (1941-45) and Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer (1951-55), recalled that Churchill once told him he was doing less for the war effort than Churchill’s grey cat Nel­son, who saved fuel and pow­er by act­ing as a Prime Min­is­te­r­i­al hot-water bot­tle. True?

A. Yes. But­ler said this in a speech to the Rt. Hon. Sir Win­ston Spencer Churchill Soci­ety of Edmon­ton, Alber­ta. (This was the orig­i­nal Churchill Soci­ety, the only one sanc­tioned by Churchill per­son­al­ly). But­ler spoke at their annu­al din­ner on 6 May 1968.…

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Churchill’s Favorite Newspapers

Churchill’s Favorite Newspapers

Which news­pa­pers did Churchill pre­fer? I am par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in 1919, when he was Sec­re­tary of State for War and Air. Was he a Times or Tele­graph read­er? —J.W., via email

Await­ing his train at St. Andrews, Fife, cir­ca 1940.

Remark­ably, Churchill  read all the news­pa­pers he could lay his hands on—from The Times to the Dai­ly Work­er, the British ver­sion of which was lat­er renamed the  Morn­ing Star.

He would do this in bed of a morn­ing after break­fast­ing off a tray. He liked to dis­card each sheet of a news­pa­per to the left and right. In the 1940s this infu­ri­at­ed his valet, Frank Sawyers, who made a show of dis­ap­proval as he picked up the sheets.…

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